I read an article in prison inventions and was impressed by some of the things the inmates MacGyvered. A very simple invention I saw though was a cigarette lighter made from a battery: I have an understanding of basic electronics theory but I have very little practical experience. I can see a piece of thin wire connected to the insulated copper wire, obviously thats the heating element but what material would you say that is? Am I right in assuming that a material for a heating element needs to be far less conductive than conductive metals like copper or aluminum? I did an experiment in which I made a broken circuit with some aluminum foil. I completed the circuit with a piece of tissue paper (a single width) and was expected the tissue to go on fire but it didn't. I know tissue is completely non conductive but I thought that 1.5V would overcome the resistance the tissue is about a micrometer wide. I accidentally completed the circuit at one point and I was holding the foil to each terminal with fingers and I rapidly felt a burning sensation on my fingers so I know the battery has voltage in it. Why didn't the tissue ignite?